Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let The Atonement Bless Your Life

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The Lord works form the inside out.  The world works from the outside in…The world would mold men by changing their environment.  Christ changed men, who then change their environment.  The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.” 
I love Alma 5:14, 19  “Have ye been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? …. I say unto you can you look up, having the image of God engraven in your countenances?
I have had this mighty change of heart and want his image engraven deep in my soul and countenance, in hopes that all who know me will be able to see.  I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay my debt, he kept those wounds to show all mankind when he returns again.  We are forever embedded in the palms of his hands.  A resurrected Christ who could have been made whole, yet kept the wounds in his hands, wounds caused by me, I are forever embedded in the palms of his hands.  The least I can do is have his image engraven in my countenance.
I Nephi 21:19 …”I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
I am grateful for the Atonement.  I know my Savior suffered for me, my sins, and felt everything I feel.  When I am discouraged, he already felt that, when I’m lonely, sad, hurting, he felt all those as well.  I love the verses in Alma 7:11-13
11. “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth accoding to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.”
These verse teach me my loving Savior fulfilled this horrible pain and experience to save me. He loosed the bands of death, and because of his mercy he will allow me to use this great gift, the Atonement, to be cleansed from my sins and be made clean. I am thankful for this gift, that we may use his cleansing power to be made whole.  I am nothing without the atonement but gain everything if I choose to use it; for that I am grateful.  I want to be better and through continual repentance hope to be washed clean as often as I fall short of living the way I know I ought to be.

Let the Atonement bless your life. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

How can we ever pay the debt we owe to our Savior?

How can we ever pay the debt we owe to our Savior?  Joseph B. Wirthlin spoke on Earthly Debt and Heavenly Debt.  He said, “The Savior paid a debt he did not owe to free us from a debt we can never repay. Because of Him, we will live forever. Because of His infinite Atonement, our sins can be swept away, allowing us to experience the greatest of all the gifts of God, eternal life.”

How can such a gift be repaid?  What could I possibly do to ever repay my Savior for the debt he paid for me?  In Mosiah 2:20-21, King Benjamin said, “I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that god who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another…..if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.”

Why then serve him if I can never repay this debt? 

I believe my debt to him, is my daily life, living the gospel of Jesus Christ in all my actions and words.  My service does matter, it does bless the lives of those around me. I know I can never repay my debt fully, but I know my Savior will bless me, after all I can do, and he will make up the difference for all I lack.
The Savior was much more than a man walking into the Garden of Gethsemane, he was the son of God, having power and strength to accomplish something far greater than any mortal could ever do.  Only the literal son of God could fulfill this incredible gift of the Atonement.  The Savior loves me and you enough that he aligned his will with Heavenly Fathers, making it possible for all of us to return to him if we take advantage of His gift, the Atonement.

When we serve with pure intent, love in our hearts, we may not be able to fully repay our debt but I believe he is proud of our efforts and they are acceptable to him.  Serving with the right intentions, not to get gain or promote ourselves we come to know our Savior better, and want to live as he lived, and be the example he was.  Our efforts will not be in vain, he wants to give us everything he has, and he will after all we can do to live righteously. I am grateful for the Atonement, I may not be able to repay my debt, but living my life as a willing servant with his name embedded on my heart, he will accept my poor efforts and make them whole.